I am not sure how you started your business, or why, but for the most part, plumbers do not set out with their life’s goal to own a service plumbing business. In my experience, plumbers open a company because they think they can do it better than their current boss; no one will pay them what they think they were worth; or, they have already worked for every plumbing company in town and still needed to put food on the table. Now, this is not scientific research, but I will bet I am 95% accurate with these findings.
For the most part, your plumbing skills are pretty good. There is not much you cannot fix if given the opportunity, and besides, everyone ought to use you because your prices are some of the best in town! Well, there is a problem right there. I can tell, you did not get your business degree while learning the plumbing trade. You need me more than you know…. Let me give you just five good reasons why you need a Coach for your business.
- Pricing Strategy – You tell everyone you are doing great! Yet, it’s difficult to make payroll every week. There are always more bills than money at the end of the month, and your wife needs more clothes for the baby. Your idea of being cheaper than the competition as a marketing tool was not your best move. You thought you could get more business if your prices were better. Thinking that way is like winking at a pretty girl in a dark room. She cannot see you and only you know about it. How does the public know you are cheaper? You don’t have any money to market your business so they don’t know. And, you just can’t raise the price without providing something for that increase.
- Financials and Benchmarks – Can you read a profit and loss or income statement? Do you understand it? Or, do you just go to your accountant once a year with a two boxes of receipts – one for the money that came in and one for the money that went out, pray a lot, and ask him or her to do your taxes. You know, those financial statements have a lot of information to help you run your business, if they are set up properly. It is not hard, but who do you ask? With all due respect, your accountant can’t help because they do not understand your plumbing business. How is your Business Plan working this year? Do you think your local competitor will give the correct answer? I know they will not.
- Company Systems – How do you measure productivity? Other than increasing sales, what else should your technicians be doing? Do you have a successful office process? How many office people do you need for the number of technicians that are in the field? I had one owner scratching his head as to why he could not make a profit. He had 6 plumbing trucks working and 6 people in the office…. I wish all the problems were always that easy. I think you are just showing up for work every day and shooting from the hip. It is very difficult to grow a business that way. You also think that if I just get some software, everything will be better! NO, you will just make the process, or lack of one even worse.
- Marketing – If you can’t make a profit, how are you going to afford marketing your business? You cannot grow a business if the public does not know you exist. You say, “Well I ran an ad on the local radio station last year and got nothing! It does not work.” And how long did you run the ad? “An entire month and it did not work!” Now, I understand the problem. So, I will again ask that important question, where is that money coming from? If we can fix a bunch of little things with your business, you will have the money to invest in a great marketing program. And grow your business, and that is a fact!
- Personnel – If you do not have a great hiring process, you never will grow the business. I learned years ago, if you don’t have enough horses to pull the wagon, you can’t go anywhere. Then comes the issue of having the correct horses. If you need large Clydesdales to do the job, the miniature pony will not work. What qualifications are you looking for? Do you have a great job description and also use that to help manage that position? Do applicants see a future with your company? What is the training process all of your office and field personnel go through? Richard Branson said it best, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” I have had very low turnover of employees in my history and I can teach you that process, if you let me.
Let me help you create a successful plumbing business. Contact me, KeithGlass@theplumberscoach.com. Like us on Facebook; Follow us on LinkedIn; and go to www.theplumberscoach.com for more information.